Catersource ACE Award Finalist

We are so pleased to be an official finalist for the 2015 Catersource Achievement in Catering Excellence (ACE) Award!

Big cheers & congratulations to our fellow finalists:
Footers Catering, CO
24 Carrots, CA
Epicurean Group, CO
Top Tier Catering, TX

The winners will be announced 
at the Industry Awards Presentation on March 10, 2015 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas during the 2015 Catersource and Event Solutions Conference & Tradeshow.

All of us at Contemporary Catering feel we represent our incredible clients and colleagues by receiving this recognition. We are humbled and grateful for the honor!

12 Days of Christmas

With the holidays upon us, no one can deny the extreme levels of turkey, ham, stuffing, and fruitcake that will be cheerfully consumed. As eager as we are to take on the traditional fare each year, most of us tire of it before getting through the holiday season.

As a company, we have always been the ones cooking "outside of the box." My role as Executive Chef often brings me the challenge of creating something very unique for our clients. They want their event to be one to remember and we do, too.

We were recently asked to design a special menu that represents aspects from the classic carol, "Twelve Days of Christmas." Now, I love a good challenge just as much as the next guy, but when a challenge is also a test of my creativity, things get exciting. Drawing inspiration from the song's lyrics for each course, here is what we came up with!

 

Tray passed appetizers

{ days 1-3 }

"A Partridge in a Pear Tree"
Caramelized Pears infused with Ruby Port Wine and a touch of Maple, served on Baguette Rounds, Laura Chenel Chevre

"Two Turtle Doves"
Truffle Butter Poached Quail Egg, Caviar, Tasting Spoon

 "3 French Hens"
Petite Coq au Vin Tartlets
 

dinner tasting menu

{ DAYS 4-9 }


- amuse bouche -

"4 Collie Birds"
Smoked Salmon, Chive Creme Fraiche, Dill Sprig on Squid Ink "Black" Potato Cake

- course i -

 "5 Golden Rings"
Five Golden Seared Day Boat Diver Scallops on a Bed of Creamy Polenta, Pea Tendrils

- COURSE II -

"6 Geese a Laying"
Frisee Salad, Duck Confit, Champagne-Shallot Vinaigrette

- COURSE III -

"7 Swans a Swimming"
Pan Roasted Sea Bass with Caperberries, Lemon Zest, Parsley, Garlic, Butter and Tarragon

- COURSE IV -

"8 Maids a Milking"
Creamy Risotto Mantecato, Prepared with Gavi, Caved Aged Parmesan, Fontina, Shaved White Winter Truffle Garnish

- COURSE V -

"9 Ladies Dancing"
Housemade Ladyfingers, Brandy Whipped Mascarpone, Candied Orange

- COURSE VI -

"10 Lords a Leaping"
Petite Individual "King Cake" Shots, Demitasse Spoon

- COURSE VII -

"11 Pipers Piping"
Petite Chocolate Eclairs "Piped" with Vanilla Custard Filling
 

{ for guests to take with them }

"12 Drummers Drumming"
Drum Kettle Corn (in little pouches to-go)

***

Happy Holidays to all!  Most importantly, have fun, share a meal, and be nice to others.
Sincerely, Nathaniel Neubauer
Owner & Executive Chef

#hashtaglunchbag

August 13th, 12:30 PM, the phone rings, it is my friend and colleague, Megan Robinson, from ONEHOPE Wine. “Hey, so we are doing this volunteer day and I want to connect you with our foundation director, Melissa Lake, about something really cool we have coming up.”  I say, "sure, we’re in" before even knowing what it is.  A couple of email introductions and exchanges and now we know what it is and we are DEFINITELY in. The ONEHOPE Foundation had been working with an organization called #HashTagLunchBag in arranging a volunteer day.  #HashtagLunchBag started with Ajay, just looking for a way to help while having some friends over one Christmas, subsequently making lunches and taking them to Skid Row. 

            These weren’t just any lunches, though.  Each sandwich was made with the same care and love in which one would make their own.  Each bag contained a handwritten note to brighten someone’s day.  Each bag contained a toothbrush and some basic hygiene supplies.  This was a different way of helping, this nourished not only someone’s belly, but their spirit and soul, too.  

            Once the volunteer day was arranged, we took the time to slow roast turkey, hand-slice tomatoes, clean and separate lettuce, just the way we do at home and for our clients.  Once it was prepared, we packed everything up into the Contemporary Catering van and headed down to ONEHOPE’s offices. We show up and there are almost 20 people there! Noshing on bagels someone had brought, wonderful music playing…this was gonna be a good day. After facilitating the most efficient, and fun way to assemble sandwiches, the action started. Our team in collaboration with theirs, and others that had come just to help, took turns placing tomatoes, laying down turkey… “who’s on bread!!!???” was exclaimed more than once.  Simply put, we all just had a blast, some wrote notes, some drew hearts on the lunch bags, some hand-wrapped sandwiches, people come together over food, even without eating it.

            With all the lunches assembled, we loaded them all into the van and headed out to Skid Row. Each grabbing a shopping bag to start, we found a parking spot and just started walking, stopping to have a conversation and wish people a good day, giving them a lunch bag with a heart and a hashtag on it, a handwritten note, a handcrafted sandwich and some hygiene supplies. We all left wondering who was helped the most, them, or us. Taking action, not just donating money, is a way we can lead by example; sometimes a smile and a note goes further than a buck and a burger. As we approach the holiday season, let’s all seek ways that we can bring joy into the lives of others.

Station Creation

Jenny, our general manager, says, 'We need to talk about the vision for the buffet station.'

What follows is a conversation about the client’s location, theme, color and style and I always find myself fascinated by the level of detail and thought. Needless to say, the buffet setup is the talk of each evening, second only to how good the food is!

Be it a small backyard BBQ for 100 guests or a racecar-themed event for 2000 guests, our planning phase for each event continues to elevate the standard of design and execution. 

From our station décor ideas, initial hand sketches to an official diagram, we have it down to a science! Using computer modeling software, I am able to create a 3D life-like mockup of each station, with layout, colors, and textures. 

When an event day arrives, and there are multiple stations to build, we print each mockup and hand it to our station builders. 

It is unbelievable to be able to design and create the vision in our heads as a team, translate them digitally, and then have them appear in reality. I am truly proud to be a member of our company that cares so much about every aspect of each event, especially when we can surprise and delight our guests with such a rare planning step!